At the 2019 FIRST Championship Detroit, we are piloting a program that will allow some teams to bring their robots to the event, rather than shipping them.
The intent of this pilot is to test our ability to have teams bring their robots to the event safely and with minimal additional load-in time and venue expense. We know it may be a convenience for some close-by teams to bring their robots themselves to the FIRST Championship, but we also know more ‘stuff’ being brought in by teams could cause unsafe conditions, slow down load-in time, and increase support costs from the venue. We will be reviewing our results after the FIRST Championship to determine if this pilot will be expanded in 2020.
This pilot will be limited to approximately 50 teams from the states of Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. Identifying teams from a small number of specific states close to (or containing) the venue will help us manage the process while also engaging those teams most likely to choose this option in the future if it is expanded. Teams selected to participate in the pilot will be offered the option of bringing their robot to the FIRST Championship themselves or shipping their robot as they normally do. No team will be required to bring their robot to the FIRST Championship themselves; all will have the option of shipping.
This pilot is also limited to FIRST Championship Detroit. With the concentration of FIRST Robotics Competition Teams in the area and the generally more difficult load-in situation, we feel this focused pilot in Detroit will best help us decide if this pilot can be expanded to more teams attending Detroit, and teams attending Houston, in 2020.
To prevent this from becoming a Michigan-teams-only pilot, every team in Ohio and Indiana attending the FIRST Championship will be given the option of bringing their robot themselves to the event, while only a select number from Michigan will be given the option. This will help us encourage greater geographic diversity while keeping the number of teams within the pilot at about 50.
Every Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan team who are pre-qualified, earn their way to the FIRST Championship at a Regional, or are selected from the waitlist will be offered a chance to participate in this pilot. Also, all teams who earn their way to the FIRST Championship from the Indiana District Championship will be offered a chance to participate in this pilot. Finally, a select number of Michigan teams who earned their way to the FIRST Championship at their District Championship will be offered a chance to participate. The number of teams from the Michigan District Championship who will be offered a chance will depend on the number and percentage of teams who have accepted the offer from all three states in prior weeks. Teams from Michigan will be selected to receive an offer based on final District rank, starting at the highest ranked team and continuing through the list until the offer limit is reached.
Pre-qualified teams will be receiving their offer very shortly. Teams who qualify during the season will be offered the opportunity to participate in the pilot shortly after they have secured their registration fees for the FIRST Championship. These teams will have 24 hours to tell us they want to participate in the pilot. If we get no response in that time, those teams will be required to ship their robots.
Teams participating in the pilot will have a significant influence on the success of the pilot and whether it will be expanded! All pilot teams (and really, all teams) should work to minimize the amount of equipment they are bringing to the FIRST Championship and have a defined plan about how exactly they will be moving all their equipment from their vehicles to their pit locations. Does everyone have a job, and do they know what it is? Do you have enough carts/racks/etc., to safely but quickly move your equipment to your pit in one trip? The FIRST staff will be working hard to make this pilot a success, but we can’t do it alone!
I’m so excited for competition season to begin!
Looks like HOT Logistics will be going out of business…